About Me

I was born in Luton, known for hat making, Vauxhall cars, London Luton Airport and a great football team who once beat Arsenal at Wembley in a Cup Final, currently languishing in non-league football for the 4th season. I moved to Edinburgh in 1990 and now live in Leith, Edinburgh's 'waterfront'.

Married for 24 years to Louise (who is on day release from Fife), I have 4 children: Holly (aged 28) who's studying medicine at Dundee University, William (aged 26) at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, Alice (aged 23) and Maddie (aged 16).

We live in a 226 year old Georgian house which we are slowly renovating. We once had a note from an artist posted through the letterbox asking if our semi-derelict house was available to rent as studio space. Things have improved lately; the stonework has been repaired and we have shiny new railings. Just the inside to do now then.

Current CNPS score: 999

Header Image: Richard Bloomfield

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    This coming week sees the culmination of another huge drain on my time, once again for no financial recompense. Leith FM and Leith Festival. I really hestitate to add up the time these two ventures take up, and why? They are both thankless tasks without appreciation for the efforts given. The results are taken for granted, errors criticised, peformance questioned. The focus is always on what hasn’t been achieved rather than what has. And, the reality is, I don’t really have any free time to give to either venture, I have to steal it from other tasks which are much more important from a family perspective. It is a constant cause of friction between Louise and I.

    In the last two months I have burnt the midnight oil on the Leith Festival programme (several all-nighters), organised the Leith FM finances and licences for the current broadcast and worked on the websites for both ventures. All in the name of ‘community’. I’ve thought long and hard about why I do this and I just can’t come up with an answer. It’s certainly not for attention or recognition (most people wouldn’t even know what I do), it’s most certainly not for financial gain (more like drain) so it must just be for the feel good factor of doing something for the community in which I live. The more I think about it, the more bizarre it is. I must have inherited it from my mother, she’s very similar.

    The sperm donor

    The last week or so I have been very lackadaisical (that’s such an odd word when you come to write it, isn’t it) about my appearance and personal hygeine: it helps me get into full builder-mode if I don’t wash and shave. It’s a bit like being an actor when you have an activity portfolio as large as mine: it helps you get into character. William even laughed at me a couple of days ago having noticed my builder’s bum (you know, a half-moon, arse cleavage while bending over).

    Fortunately, I had to don my Leith Festival hat today and visit one of the UK’s top design agencies for a meeting. This involved a haircut (hair used in the singular in it’s literal form), a shave, shower and suit, and replacing The Sun in the back of my briefs with The Guardian in my briefcase. A successful meeting was followed by the *inevitable visit to The Port O’Leith Bar where I chanced upon Wooly Dave the photographer.

    Somehow (probably as we were chatting about poverty and the fact that I am to be a father again at any moment), we ventured onto the subject of sperm donation. It must have been because of the high-powered marketing meeting I’d just attended, but I couldn’t help thinking that sperm donation must be one of the most poorly marketed activities there is. I was listening to an item on Radio 4 the other day on the very same subject and apparently there is a grave shortage of donors. How can that be? I mean, come on guys, they pay you to wank! How hard a sell is that? It’s hardly work, is it? I don’t know about you, but I’d even be happy to throw in the odd freebie now and again, out of sheer love of the job.

    Anyway, Dave pointed out that new legislation means that there’s no longer anonimity for a donor: the fruits of your labour could come looking for you in the future, curious to meet Daddy. How would you explain that one to them? And of course, the way this government is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Child Support Agency came after you too. Every silver lining has it’s cloud.

    *Lightbulb syndrome:

    Q: How many men does it take to change a light bulb? A: Six. One to change the bulb and five to congratulate him down the pub afterwards